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Tips From AARP Travelers

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    When we asked AARP members to pass along their best travel tips, more than 23,000 people responded. Clearly our community is dedicated to getting around. As one reader put it: "Vacations are even more important once you retire, especially in your go-go years!"

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    Where To Go

    "Visit someplace local that you haven't explored yet." (Paulstclrs) “See the sights in your own hometown!” (donnawilkedonna)

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    What To Bring

    "Take your own comfortable pillows." (jkboelling)

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    What To Pack

    "Roll your clothing to fit more in your suitcase." (thuskey07). "Ziplock bags are a the traveler's best friend." (sgalbino) "Pack old clothes and then discard them or donate them as you go." (gsilver)

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    Getting Around

    "Don't have a strict schedule." (ken4roxie) "Don't overplan! We took a spur of the moment day trip over Independence Pass in Colorado and it ended up being a highlight of the trip." (kjcieslak)

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    Eating Out

    "Ask the locals for restaurant recommendations and try something other than the chains." (llmilbrath) "Cruises are great because you have the opportunity to try different dishes without cost to you, and the best part is, if you don't like what you order, you can always order something else!" (cduline) "If you eat out and don't finish your meal and can't use the leftovers, take them with you anyway and give them to a hungry person." (wendy689130)

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    Driving

    "Use your cruise control and leave it on unless there are bad weather conditions. The urge to go faster uses much more fuel, often doesn't cut that much time, risks a ticket and doesn't let you enjoy the scenery." (cincypanda) "Get off the big highway and try the local roads. You never know what you will find. And always stop at the welcome centers as you cross into a new state. They have hotel coupon books, street maps and very knowledgeable people." (jfvogel142)

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  • AARP Offer: Explore Your World

    Explore Travel with our newsletter filled with tips and ideas to plan the ultimate getaway.
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    Fun With GPS

    "Install and use GPS for hiking. Better safe than sorry." (philpacelli) "GPS is such a great tool, even to help see traffic and construction zones." (joelle.peel) "Getting lost is a great way to discover new places and have exciting experiences. Lose the GPS!" (jan-soro) "Ever try geocaching? It's a high-tech scavenger hunt. You can learn all about it at http://www.geocaching.com. Fun, challenging, educational—see places off the beaten path." (jkibbe)

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    Where To Stay

    "Make hotel reservations four months ahead of time and check the rates frequently to see if they have dropped to get the lower rate." (susan-dou) "Get out of the hotels! Use Airbnb, VRBO or HomeAway; stay at a B&B; go glamping. Any of these will provide better experiences and memories then a chain hotel." (safetyguru)

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    Making Memories

    "Take photographs and keep a daily diary while on vacation. When you look back over these years later, you will be surprised how much you forgot and how much fun you had" (celeste.n.bru). "Stop and see the weird stuff like the world's biggest ball of yarn. They make long-lasting memories." (whiterabbit1203)

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    End The Day

    "Always stop one or two hours before the sun goes down. It makes it easier to unload and settle in for the evening." (krup62) "See the sunset in Mallory Square in Key West, Fla." (jgrady802) "Watch the sun go down in Painted Desert in Petrified Forest National Park." (dipjogh) " Sunset is awesome on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park." (ibilewic) 

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    Visit A National Park

    Some 2,000 respondents recommended U.S. National Parks vacations. If you're 62, buy a discounted season pass good at all parks.

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